David W Measures Ministries International
15th to 25th July 2005
Bulgaria has flourished from the 9th century in culture and tradition. The country has had many influences on its culture because it is strategically placed on a main route from the east (Asia) and the Western world.
The people are very friendly and open in spite of the many years of continual oppressive Governments and Authorities. We were invited by Plamen the Pastor of Renewal Church, one of the largest Romany gypsy churches in Bulgaria. We stayed with him and his wife Maria who is a very talented artist. She sells her artwork to contribute to the church work and their ministry. We arrived Friday evening, met by Ali (a Gypsy) the driver, who is a very talented musician and singer-songwriter, and Plamen (a Bulgarian) our host and interpreter for the Mission. In the Gypsy suburb, there is much poverty, poor sanitation and oppression of many kinds. This was a real eye opener for us and the atmosphere of gloom took some time to evaporate.
After a ride into Sofia City in the morning An evening Banquet Meeting was held in the local Disco. There was testimony and song, David brought the message from John Ch 3 Approx. 400 people attended more then 150 were ministered to for healing and deliverance and all accepted Jesus as their Saviour. Amazing! John made contact through speaking a little Romanesque. It was a most enjoyable, powerful meeting which seemed to be lifting some downcast expressions.
Morning Service in Bulgarian Church in Sofia. Pastor Atanas, who did not completely believe in the ‘deliverance’ ministry, did so after the testimonies of healing through deliverance from many of his congregation and later himself. David’s message, was from Proverbs Ch 3. Most enjoyable morning, after refreshments, Pastor Atanas invited us to return the following Sunday which we did. The Pastor then came to other services where we ministered. Praise the Lord. Sunday Evening Service at Pastor Plamen’s Renewal Church. The Church is located by the side of the main train line in the Gipsy suburb. Having found no where to meet some years ago, Ali and his wife Rene immediately took off the roof of their house built up and replaced the roof. The Church is on the 1st floor and a small studio where he records and produces his CDs. After much worship and song David brought message, (about Blind men). Dougie sang, John testified, again many healed and saved and delivered. This time it was en-mass. The congregation totalled about 100 persons and all requested prayer. Much deliverance is needed in the Gypsy church particularly from Witchcraft and Generation curses, depression and lack of self-worth. Ali’s music was powerful and the youth singers were encouraging much praise to God, Wonderful. Praise The Lord!
Morning off, so we were taken into the mountains, after a little anxiety because the van boiled up and we had to take a rest half way up the mountain and the brakes became hot on the way down so we decided to take a break and have a meal. The mountain and countryside were beautiful but sadly apparently since the Russians withdrew there are many abandoned buildings and run down businesses including the ski stations in the mountains, sadly only lacking investment. However, we did have a super meal at a restaurant in the hillside and we were invited to eat mice, we were reluctant until we found that they meant Maize. (Lost in translation) Evening service led by Helen, for the Ladies who had never previously had a service of their own. About 30 ladies attended and there was prayer for healing and deliverance and sharing their immediate problems much of which were family issues as there was hardly any employment for the men and many would turn to drink or drugs and had became rough or violent. John and Dougie took the opportunity to evangelise near by and led 15 others to the Lord, one of which had his leg healed. Praise The Lord!
Dougie went off to the recording studio with Ali. The remainder went into town. Later we went to a village in the hillside to visit a young couple with 2 small boys who were enquiring about teaching as they had previously been involved with a Cult. There are many different cults attracted to Bulgaria at this time. After prayer and refreshments we left them very happy. Later, Helen led a second ladies meeting, teaching and prayer and concluded with a song and dance, which they all enjoyed. John had the opportunity to play with some children around the church.
For the Evening Meeting, we went east about 30 kms out of the city to a village. (Elin Pelin) The Pastor, was Tomi, Plamen’s Bible school friend. Most enjoyable, much more relaxed Bulgarian people very poor but seemed much happier and loved the Lord, His Word and us too. Testimonies were given by Dougie, Helen, and John. David brought a message, about the ‘woman with a spirit of infirmity’ from Luke Ch13 which they received with much enthusiasm. Great meeting many miracles, people healed from blindness, lameness, a speech impediment, broken curses of diabetes, cancer, witchcraft and generational curses. The Pastor was very grateful as he said, he knew that this was needed in his church but had yet to find this ministry. He then asked if we would return again before we left, so we did, two days later. We were beginning to be encouraged because testimonies were beginning to reach us from earlier ministry. Stephan the man who owned the local Disco had been to the hospital and the doctor said that his heart problem had been confirmed healed following prayer.
At the Evening Meeting at Renewal Church David brought message on the ‘End times’ as the Pastor had requested. Gypsies have a great interest in the prophetic. Another busy meeting with ministry as it was ‘noised abroad’ that the ministry was in town and new people kept coming.
After breakfast we had a more in depth teaching and bible study at home. Later we went to the ‘Feeding Station’ to see the children arrive for their free soup, bread and carton of fruit juice. The older women cooked the soup in a very large pan and after ‘grace’ was said, the children came and went in a steady stream about 60 in all. Some came with a bowl for the family at home and any food that was left was divided out. Then we continued on to the Church in the village of Elin Pelin again. Ali was able to try out the video camera, which we had purchased for them earlier. So he recorded the service which was very interesting with many testimonies of healing being given from the previous visit’s ministry. After the testimonies, many came forward for prayer before we could start the service. About 30 people were healed. More exciting testimonies followed the worship and the message ‘the healing the Paralysed man’ from Mark Ch 2 which David brought and followed by ministry and song. A lady came on crutches and said she had broken her hip but never could afford to go to the hospital. Following prayer she left waving her crutches in the air and could not keep quiet. Many people testified to the power of God having healed and changed their lives.
Peaceful morning, slow start, we took a ride into the town with Plamen. In the afternoon, a thunderstorm drenched everything, and we thought it might prevent the children coming to the children’s service later, led by Helen and Dougie. However, the sun came out and so did the children. So they came. Dougie was a great help with the songs and ‘the drama,’ which was about the ‘Great Banquet.’ We had managed to find some string, a cloak, a wedding dress and veil, a bandage or too, a stick and begging bowl. We practised for the performance on Sunday, and a good time was had by all. The evening service followed this, again enthusiastic worship and song. David preached from John Ch 8, ‘the woman caught in adultery’ and ministered, much love shared and others were encouraged to learn to do ministry, and they were very keen students. Dougie was able to share his testimonies about his near death experience, his grandchild’s fall and miraculous healing, and several testimonies regarding his horses which the gypsies appreciated. Although, in retrospect, it now seems that the one of the greatest witnesses throughout the mission was that Dougie and David, Gypsy and (Gorger) House dweller were close brothers in Christ. Different cultures but all one in Christ.
The Early Service found us back to Pastor Atanas’s church in Sofia. Pastor Atanas wasn’t sure that the people would come because last week’s meeting had been so different but he needn’t have worried there were more than ever. We worshipped, sang and heard many testify to the goodness of God. David preached from James Ch 3 ‘the tongue’ and ministry followed and everyone became involved and enjoyed the signs and wonders that the Lord performed in the midst. Curses were broken; healings were witnessed, including a deaf and dumb girl. Praise Jesus! The Evening Celebration Service proceeded by the ‘Drama’ performed by the children. Other church leaders also attended the service. David brought his final message following the praise and worship from Matt.Ch13. ‘Mustard seed re: Deception.’ Then after ministry, again many people received prayer, and testified, this included a healing of a deaf and dumb child. Prayers were said for the Pastors especially Plamen and Ali and the church in the suburb. They reciprocated by prayer for our safe return and our ministries. David’s concluding prayer 2 Chr. Ch 7 v 13-14. That their land would be healed, and that they, who have the truth, would be the ones to take the message to set Bulgaria free, in love and power. Different cultures but all one in Christ.
We were praising God for the privilege that he would use such as us, to encourage these lovely people who have very generous hearts but very few possessions. We bought some presents for Maria, who had looked after all our needs unstintingly for the whole time. We thanked them all again, shared lunch together at home, said our goodbyes to the family. Pastor Plamen and Ali took us to the airport. The flight left at 3pm – home – by 5pm GMT Heathrow. Praise the Lord for his goodness to us.
Pastor David, Helen, Dougie and John.